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The American healthcare – another point of view


Date published

I will confess I was finding it hard to understand why President Trump was so keen to change or replace the healthcare provision put in place by his predecessor President Obama. One of our clients has family in America so as we were chatting one day, I asked if he knew what was happening and why? Here’s his answer, which I thought I would share with you as I found it very interesting. Naturally I have changed our client’s name.

The answer is more simple than you might think: Obamacare gives c. 20 million uninsured people health insurance (other things too but that’s the key). However, most of these people cannot afford health insurance, and the taxpayer does not provide a subsidy, so those that can afford to pay premiums (many of them Republicans) have to effectively pay increased premiums to health insurers to fund those that cannot afford their own premiums.

So, Helen’s father overnight had an increase of 30% in his healthcare premiums to fund Obamacare premiums for those who could not afford to pay them. In this country, of course general taxation covers the NHS but in the US under Obamacare there was a very direct and very clear correlation: day before Obamacare health premium of say $3,000 a month; day after $4,000 a month.

Given health insurance premiums in the US are so hugely expensive anyway with no NHS etc, this has made a huge difference to people. Horribly simplistically, Democrats with social conscience etc sucked up the increase; Republicans with a “live your own life” attitude absolutely HATE it as flat out socialism (which in a way it is since those who can afford big health insurance premiums now pay bigger ones to fund those who can’t afford to pay).

Having read this I can now see why some individuals would find it unfair to have to contribute towards the insurance premium of others, who happen to be less well off than they are.  The NHS has its faults and challenges but at least we don’t have to worry about this particular issue.